Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Decorating Your Re-purposed Pill Bottles

If you've taken some of my examples from my post 16 Ways To Re-Use Prescription Bottles, you now have a lot ugly bottles serving useful purposes. But they don't have to stay ugly.

I'm going to show you a few easy steps to turn your boring pill bottle into something you won't mind showing off.

What you'll need:


Example of paintbrush size.
  • Medicine bottles (of course)
  • 2 different acrylic paint colors 
  • 2 paintbrushes- one small and thin; the other small but flat
  • Anything else you'd like to decorate your bottles with

How to do it:

First you need to peel off the stickers on your medicine bottles. You can either use hot water and soak it, WD-40, or some other safe and non toxic removal method. You want to get off the glue, too. You can leave a little of it on, but it won't look as good (Trust me, I left some on and my bottle looks lumpy).
A clean bottle and the two chosen colors.
Then you need to pick your colors. I chose High Gloss Obsidian acrylic paint. You can use any acrylic paint, but this said multi-surface so I thought it would stick better. I also chose a Glitter acrylic paint called Purple Sapphire. As you can see, both of those were Martha Stewart crafts paint. Not that I like Martha Stewart. After her little jail episode I lost all respect for her. But that's a completely different matter.

You can see the streaky parts by looking on the inside.
It's a good way to get full coverage.
You need to paint the outside of the bottle in your base color (mine was black). Use a thin coat so it dries faster. It will probable look a little streaky, but that's okay because we're just going to put on a second coat. Also, a thin coat will prevent the paint from cracking.

If you get tired of waiting for the paint to dry, you can use your hairdryer to lightly blow cold or cool air. Heat and acrylics don't mix well. Mainly because acrylics are just pigment floating around in plastic. If you want to see where your streaky parts are after you've covered the entire bottle (it gets a little difficult to see after a while) look on the inside of the bottle and hold it up to the light. You'll be able to see the spots you miss.

The best way to hold the bottle.
After the first coat is dry apply the second. It's easy to paint if you have two fingers on the inside. It will keep you from making an enormous mess. If you look at the picture, you can see how nice and clean the piece of paper I set down is. It didn't stay that way, but I got lazy.

Oh and a little tip in case you don't have a palette or don't feel like using one, gum wrappers make excellent paint palettes for small projects like this. Once you're done, just wrap it up gently and throw it away.
Don't forget to paint the bottoms...
After you have finished all that painting, you can move on to the caps.

The finished bottom half.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of that step. But let me tell you, it took about ten coats of the sparkly glitter paint to get any decent coverage. I wanted something really sparkly that would blind people but, it didn't come out the way I wanted. I was really disappointed. Another reason why I don't like Martha Stewart. Her products don't deliver they way her advertisements make it seem. Damn, those advertisements. They worked on me a little too well....

It didn't end there for me. I decided I wanted to make it look prettier, so I attempted to write my first initial with my glitter paint. But yet again, it failed me. I had to glob it on to make any glitter show up. Which is the whole purpose of buying glitter paint.
At least I got it pretty darn sparkly.

I have some glittery ribbon I'd like to adhere to these, but I can't find the hot glue gun. Plus, I think they look pretty good as is.


You can add stickers or self adhesive jewels. Or get out your hot glue gun and stick on random stuff. It's up to you. You can even use more than one color on the bottom. Maybe draw some little characters on there.

There you have it. You now know how to revamp your pill bottles. If this is what I get to do when I finish a bottle of pills, then I don't think I'll mind taking my medicine diligently.


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